Vehicle registration plates of Vietnam

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Vehicle registration plates of Vietnam generally take the form DDL-DDDDD for vehicles. Standard license plates have green characters on white background. Front plates measure 47 × 11 cm, rear ones are 27 × 20. The current scheme for civilian vehicles omits the letters I, J, O, Q and W, with the letter R reserved for trailers, and includes the Vietnamese Đ.

Vietnamese plate, Hanoi
Vietnamese plate, Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnamese plate example (1975–1995)

History[edit]

French protectorate[edit]

In French Indochina, license plates were white-on-black on XXX1111 type, XXX is location code. 1111 can be anything (serial numbers).

1978–1984[edit]

Vietnamese plates in 1978–1984 were white-on-black and similar to previous one, but had 4 digits then 3 letters. 3 letters are city name, but based on Vietnamese language.

1984–2003[edit]

From 1984 to 2003 (current version) is black-on-white, then later green-on-white, with city name. Plates were A 1111 format, then 1A 1111 format, then AA 1111 format, then was going to switch to AAA 111 format, but the plan was cancelled. The leading two symbols are two digits, representing the province/municipality. The exact date of format changing is unknown. In 2012 a blue strip with a "VN" will be added on the left-hand side of the plates, as required by the new ASEAN licensing agreement.

The leading two numerals refer to the various provinces and major municipalities of Vietnam, unless they are letters (AA, AB, AC, and so on) which signify that the car belongs to the Ministry of Defence - in which case the plate will be red. Some plates also carry a red two-letter code following the provincial numerals, with "NG" (for ngoại giao) used for a diplomatic or NGO plate and "LD" for a vehicle belonging to a company which is 100% foreign-owned. If a colored letter (A, B, or C) follows the province code, the vehicle belongs to the local government).

Colors[edit]

Vietnamese plate, for the President's, Central Government's
  • President's cars, Central Government's cars - blue with white[1]
  • Private vehicles, business cars, taxi - white with black[2]
  • Military's cars - red with white[2]
  • Construction vehicles - yellow with black[2]
  • Diplomat's cars - White with NG wrote in red[3]
  • Foreigner-owned cars - White with NN wrote in black[3]

Formats[edit]

Regular plates[edit]

The format for regular plates began in 1984, with a modification made in 2010 to increase registration capacity. The system itself resembles an inverted FNI system of France. The registration format of the 2010 system is 12A-345.67, where 12 is the regional code, A is the serial letter, and 345.67 is the registration number. Regular plates have black lettering on white background.

Double-letter serials for special uses also exist for regular plates:

Serial Used for
DA Foreign investment companies
HC Vehicles allowed to work in limited time of day only
KT Special military vehicles
LA Construction machinery (Note: This comes with a yellow background and follows 12AB-3456 format.)
LD Joint ventures with foreign entities, and vehicles rented by foreigners
MA Three-wheeled light transport vehicles
Two-wheeled vehicles with electric power source
MK Tractors
SA

XA

Large-size equipment, e.g. combine harvesters, etc. (Note: This also comes with a yellow background.)
Vietnam-made vehicles
12SA-3456

Other formats[edit]

State format[edit]

Vehicles of state organizations receive plates with white lettering on blue backgrounds. The format is either 12AB-345.67 or 12A-3456, where 12 is the regional code, AB/A is the serial, 345.67/3456 is the number.

Government format[edit]

The government format follows the regular format, but the regional code is changed to 80.

80A-1234

Motorcycles[edit]

Motorcycles over 50cc receive two-line plates of the 12-A3/456.78 format, which replaced the previous 12-A3/4567 format, with black lettering on white backgrounds.

12-А3

456.78

12-А3

4567

Mopeds below 50cc, on the other hand, receive a slightly different 12-AB/345.67 format, also replacing the previous 12-AB/3456 format.

12-AA

345.67

12-AA

4567

Two-wheel vehicles with electric power source use the 12-MĐ/345.67 format.

345.67

Diplomatic plates[edit]

Diplomatic plates have their status codes in red, and the numbers in black on a white background.

  • Diplomatic personnel based in Hanoi receive the AB-123-45 format, where AB is the status code (either NG or QT), 123 being the country/organization code, and 45 the registration the number. (01 for the head of the diplomatic mission, and 02-99 for the rest).
  • Consular organizations based in Hanoi receive the 80-AB-123-45 format, where 80 is the code signifying national importance, AB being the status code, 123 the country code, and 45 the number (01 for the head of the organization, 02-99 for other members).
  • Consular staff of international organizations based outside Hanoi receive a different format of 12-AB-345-67, where 12 is the regional code, AB is the status code, 345 being the country code, and 67 the number.
Status code Meaning
NG (ngoại giao) Diplomatic
NN (nước ngoài) Foreigners without diplomatic status
QT (quốc tế) International organizations

Military format[edit]

Military vehicles bear red plates with white lettering in the format of AB-12-34, where AB is the unit code, and 12-34 being the number.

AA-12-34

Military motorcycles receive the two-line AB/123 format, where AB is the unit code, and 123 the number. Mopeds receive an additional letter A after the number.

Temporary plates[edit]

Temporary plates are two-line plates with the T12/345.67 format, where T signifies the temporary nature of the plate, 12 being the regional code and 345.67 being the number.

T12

345.67

Codes[edit]

The provincial/municipal codes are listed here:

Number Province/municipality
11 Cao Bằng
12 Lạng Sơn
14 Quảng Ninh
15/16 Hải Phòng
17 Thái Bình
18 Nam Định
19 Phú Thọ
20 Thái Nguyên
21 Yên Bái
22 Tuyên Quang
23 Hà Giang
24 Lào Cai
25 Lai Châu
26 Sơn La
27 Điện Biên
28 Hòa Bình
29–33/40 Hà Nội
34 Hải Dương
35 Ninh Bình
36 Thanh Hóa
37 Nghệ An
38 Hà Tĩnh
Number Province/municipality
39/60 Đồng Nai
43 Đà Nẵng
47 Đắk Lắk
48 Đắk Nông
49 Lâm Đồng
41/ 50–59 Hồ Chí Minh City
61 Bình Dương
62 Long An
63 Tiền Giang
64 Vĩnh Long
65 Cần Thơ
66 Đồng Tháp
67 An Giang
68 Kiên Giang
69 Cà Mau
70 Tây Ninh
71 Bến Tre
72 Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu
73 Quảng Bình
74 Quảng Trị
75 Thừa Thiên–Huế
76 Quảng Ngãi
Number Province/municipality
77 Bình Định
78 Phú Yên
79 Khánh Hòa
80 Central Government, President and Ministry of Public Security*
81 Gia Lai
82 Kon Tum
83 Sóc Trăng
84 Trà Vinh
85 Ninh Thuận
86 Bình Thuận
88 Vĩnh Phúc
89 Hưng Yên
90 Hà Nam
92 Quảng Nam
93 Bình Phước
94 Bạc Liêu
95 Hậu Giang
97 Bắc Kạn
98 Bắc Giang
99 Bắc Ninh
*Note 1: These agencies also use regularly licensed vehicles

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nguyen, Dung (2014-09-28). "Vietnamese official had state-owned car with fake license plate". Thanh Nien Daily. Retrieved 2016-11-02. In Vietnam, blue-colored plates designate cars used by government officials. 
  2. ^ a b c "Trailer trucks using fake military license plates confiscated in southern Vietnam". tuoitrenews.vn. Retrieved 2016-11-02. In Vietnam, license plates are color-coded to identify vehicles’ registered use, with white for individuals or businesses, dark blue for civilian administrative bodies, red for military units, and yellow for construction units or border commands. 
  3. ^ a b "Vietnam tries to clamp down on illegal use of diplomatic cars". Thanh Nien Daily. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2016-11-02. Foreigners and diplomats are allowed to import cars tax-free for personal use, and they must use license plates marked NN (in black) and NG (in red), respectively.